Tsutsuhata Castle II
The history of Tsutsuhatajō mostly goes along with that of Karidaôjō. It was part of a complex of fortifications built by the Takanashi Clan on their southern border to protect against the advances of the Takeda Clan. Takeda Shingen conquered the castle in 1561. For more information see Karidaôjō (Karidaoh Castle).
Tsutsuhatajō is a fortification complex consisting of five distinct fort sites. The castles are numbered one through five, with the second being Tsutsuhatajō-Ninoshiro (Tsutsuhata Castle II). Just before the ridge terminates it forks, and Ninoshiro is on this fork, with Ichinoshiro below to the south. Ichinoshiro could be considered a southern spur of Ninoshiro, and the two sites are very close together. If Tsutsuhatajō consisted of just these two forts then it likely would not be necessary to consider them as two distinct sites, and it is the other forts in the network which inspire this separation. On the southern slope above Ichinoshiro, and at the bottom of the lowest bailey of Ninoshiro, there is a large horikiri (trench) with dorui (earthen ramparts) heaped in front of it. The mound rises above the trench. The horikiri protects from the direction of Ichinoshiro, so if the first fort fell, then this would be the first line of defence for Ninoshiro. A short dobashi (earthen bridge) runs between the dorui and horikiri. It’s quite a distinctive feature in person, though difficult to photograph.
Ninoshiro’s integral baileys start at the lower ridge fork and go a little way up along the ridge. Baileys are separated by horikiri, dorui and terracing. One trench is full of bamboo, but the others are mostly clear and easy to identify due to their depth and the dorui banked up behind them. There are traces of stone piling around the lower bailey of Ninoshiro, as well as in the trenches. The trenches were apparently stone-lined, but now most of the walls have collapsed, leaving the stone blocks to fill the trenches. Above Ninoshiro is Sannoshiro, but the ridge sweeps up quite drastically here and so one is forced into a climbing section to go between the two sites.
|Tsutsuhata Castle II
|Pre Edo Period
|Horikiri, Kuruwa, Ishigaki, Dorui, &c.
|trenches, stone walls
|Tsusumi Station on the Nagano Electric Line; 25-minute walk to trailhead at Ichinoshiro
|Obuse, Nagano Prefecture
|36° 42' 24.26" N, 138° 20' 27.89" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
|Friends of JCastle